dinsdag 27 september 2011

Achiote as red dye and flavoring for cacao beverage for Maya and Aztec.

Cacao, iconographic plant of the Popol Vuh
and of Maya civilization
 
Cacao was considered  a sacred plant.
Cacao seeds were used as money by the Aztecs and possibly by earlier pre-Columbian societies.
 
It is well known that the pre-Columbian Maya colored their cacao beverage bright red with dye from the achiote seed pod. I would call it more a food colorant rather than a flavoring.

Achiote (Bixa orellana) is a common bush or shrub around houses throughout Verapaz and Peten areas of Guatemala, especially in Alta Verapaz. There are two kinds of achiote: a less common kind grown between Raxruja and La Union, en route to the Maya ruins of Cancuen, and the more common kind around Chisec, Alta Verapaz (on the highway from Coban to Sayaxche, Peten). Ethnohistorical records document that achiote was grown in these same regions when the Spanish first entered these areas.
Achiote (Bixa orellana), was used to color cacao drink by the prehispanic Maya. So in this photograph (taken in FLAAR Mesoamerica studio by Alen Bubanja, volunteer from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia), we show the red achiote powder.
 
Achiote is a natural extension, since achiote and cacao are often grown in the same fields. The Spanish conquerors commented that the Maya flavored and colored their cacao drink with achiote: red cacao drink!
A cacao drinking vase found by Joe Ball accompanying the remains of an adolescent male buried around 725 A.D. in Belize. Around the top rim are hieroglyphs in Mayan script. The middle hieroglyph symbolizes the word KAKAW, the Mayan word for cacao.

Red colorant in pre-Columbian times was also derived from cochinal and logwood.
The prehispanic Maya had three sources of red colorants from natural sources.
  • Achiote, annatto, Bixa orellana
  • Logwood, Palo de Campeche
  • Cochinal, from an insect that lives on cactus plants
Plus of course many other colorants. I list above only the three most common and the three from plant sources. There are also many other plants that give dye of diverse colors and more than three plants that give red.

Achiote (Bixa orellana) tree, Alta Verapaz.
 
Indigenous woman of Guatemala toasting Achiote.
 
The red achiote powder (annatto) on top of cacao beans.

Be careful with claims that the red color of the Maya temples and palaces came from plants. Merle Green Robertson’s evidence at Palenque (Chiapas, Mexico) suggests that the red color of most Maya building exteriors came from clays or minerals. Howver the color "Maya blue" seems to be a mixture of plant dye (indigo) and mineral or clay pigment.

Here is Nicholas Hellmuth photographing an achiote tree in the Semuc Champey area of Alta Verapaz. Achiote is indigenous to Guatemala, but the banana plant in the background is not pre-Columbian in origin. Bananas were introduced in the 16th century, as were onions, citrus fruit, and sugar cane.
 
Want more information go to the following links:
http://www.wide-format-printers.org/FLAAR_report_covers/digitalphotographydigitalcamera/705118_Photographing_Cacao.pdf

http://www.wide-format-printers.org/FLAAR_report_covers/705181_Cacao_Trip_June_08.pdf

maandag 26 september 2011

Chocolade pro's en contra's. deel 1


Wat is chocolade precies? (in het kort)
Het begon allemaal bij de vrucht van de cacaoboom (Theobroma cacao) die ongeveer 20 tot 40 reukloze zaden of "cacaobonen" bevat met een bittere, samentrekkende smaak. Deze worden onderworpen aan een 4 à zes dagen durend fermentatieproces, die een groot deel van de looistoffen vernietigt en de bittre smaak van de cacaoboon voor een deel tempert. Tegelijk verandert de kleur van de boon van wit naar roodbruin en vormen zich de voorlopers van de latere smaakstoffen. Na drogen en behandelen tegen de cacaomotten worden de cacaobonen verscheept naar het land van verwerking of ter plaatse in steeds meerdere gevallen chocolades gemaakt. De bonen worden gebroken en na het verwijderen van de doppen en de kiemen houdt men de eigenlijke "nibs" of cacaokernen over. De nibs worden vervolgens geroosterd waardoor zich het aroma, kleur en de volle smaak ontwikkelen. Daarna maalt men de geroosterde nibs tot een halfvloeibare bruine massa: de cacaomassa. De cacaomassa bevat ongeveer 55% ivoorkleurig vat of cacaoboter. De helft daarvan wordt uit de cacaomassa geperst of geëxtraheerd. Het resterende gedeelte wordt gedroogd en fijn vermalen tot cacaopoeder. De eigenlijke, pure chocolade wordt bereid door cacaopoeder, cacaoboter en suiker te mengen. Hierbij moeten we wel opmerken dat de Europese Unie tot 5% andere plantaardige vetstoffen naast cacaoboter heeft toegestaan om een product nog "chocolade" te mogen noemen, merk op dat bij echte kwaliteitchocolade dit hier niet van toepassing is. Pure chocolade bevat 34 tot 99% cacao, 100% is enkel pure cacaomassa. Bij bereiding van andere types van chocolade kunnen ook andere ingrediënten zoals melkpoeder, noten, vanille, gedroogd fruit, honing, specerijen, enz. toegevoegd worden. Cacao bestaat in 3 variëteiten: criollos is de meest aromatische en verfijnde variëteit, forasteros levert in wat betreft smaakkwaliteit maar is spijtig genoeg goed voor meer dan 90% van de wereldproductie. Trinitarios is een hybride van de twee vorige cacaovariëteiten.

Gezondheidsbevorderende fytonutriënten
Als we naar de drie grote voedingsgroepen in cacaopoeder kijken, dan bevat ze naast koolhydraten (54g/100g) en eiwitten (19,3g/100g) ongeveer 13,7g/100g vetstoffen. Deze cacaoboter (alsook degene die later met het cacaopoeder wordt gemengd om de eigenlijke chocolade te maken) bestaat vooral uit een combinatie van verzadigde vetzuren (26% palminezuur en 34% stearinezuur) en mono-overzadigde vetzuren (37% oleonezuur) met amper 2% poly-onverzadigde vetten (linolzuur). Hieruit mogen we om te beginnen al besluiten dat cacaoboter wel degelijk een vetstof is die veilig kan verhit worden, want ze is zeer arm aan oxidatiegevoelige meervoudige onverzadigde vetzuren. Als we naar de micronutriciënten kijken, dan mogen we stellen dat de cacaopoeder vooral rijk is aan mineralen magnesium (een ware topbron!), aan mangaan, koper, ijzer, chroom, fosfor, zink, kaliumen ook wat selenium. Qua vitaminen treffen we vooral vitaminen B2, B3 en PABA (pure para-aminobenzoëzuur) in cacaopoder aan. Maar wat chocolade zo interessant maakt zijn de "fytonutriënten" onder de vorm van polyfenolen: ze bevat er liefs 20 mg/g van. Die polyfenolen bestaan vooral uit een welbepaalde klasse van bioflavonoïden: de zogenaamde " flavanolen", waartoe ondermeer epicatechine, catechine en oligomere procyaniden behoren. De gezondheidsbevorderende eigenschappen die we verder aanhalen, heeft chocolade vooral te danken aan deze flavenolen, want het zijn zeer sterke antioxidanten. Aan te stippen valt dat chocolade, in mindere mate dan koffiebonen rijk is aan stmulerende methylxanthinen (vooral theobromine, minder cafeïne en theofyline). Ze bevat verder nog stoffen die het centrale zenuwstelsel kunnen beinvloeden, histamine en de daarvan afgeleide stoffen fenylethylamine en tyramine, en het door velen gekende serotonine.


bron: http://www.biogezond.be/over_biogezond.php

binnenkort deel twee : welke chocolade is echt gezondheidsbevorderend en de welke laten we het best links liggen.

woensdag 21 september 2011

The History of Cocoa and its production in Ghana


The History of Cocoa and its production in Ghana

Cocoa originated from around the headwaters of the Amazon in South America. Its cultivation and value spread in ancient times throughout central and Eastern Amazonian and northwards to Central America

Cocoa beans were used by the Native Americans to prepare a chocolate drink or chocolate and also as a form of currency for trading purposes and payment of tribute to the king. After the conquest of Central America in 1521, Hernan Cortez and his Conquistadores took a small cargo of cocoa beans to Spain in 1528, together with utensils for making the chocolate drink. 

By 1580 the drink had been popularized in the country and consignments of cocoa were regularly shipped to Spain. The popularity of chocolate as a drink spread quickly throughout Europe, reaching Italy in 1606, France in 1615, Germany in 1641 and Great Britain in 1657.

Large-scale cultivation of cocoa was started by the Spanish in the 16th century in Central America. It spread to the British, French and Dutch West Indies (Jamaica, Martinique and Surinarn) in the 17th century and to Brazil in the 18th century. From Brazil it was taken to SÃO Tome and Fernando Po (now part of Equatorial Guinea) in 1840; and from there to other parts of West Africa, notably the Gold Coast (now Ghana), Nigeria and the Ivory Coast.   Gold Coast - Ghana
The available records indicate that Dutch missionaries planted cocoa in the coastal areas of the then Gold Coast as early as 1815, whilst in 1857 Basel missionaries also planted cocoa at Aburi.

However, these did not result in the spread of cocoa cultivation until Tetteh Quarshie, a native of Osu, Accra, who had travelled to Fernando Po and worked there as a blacksmith, returned in 1879 with Amelonado cocoa pods and established a farm at Akwapim Mampong in the Eastern Region.  Farmers bought pods from his farm to plant and cultivation spread from the Akwapim area to other parts of the Eastern Region.

Amelonado cocoa pod

In 1886, Sir William Bradford Griffith, the Governor, also arranged for cocoa pods to be brought in from Sao Tome, from which seedlings were raised at  Aburi Botanical Garden and distributed to farmers.

In recognition of the contribution of cocoa to the development of Ghana, the government in 1947 established the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) as the main government agency responsible for the development of the industry.
Currently there are six cocoa growing areas namely Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Eastern, Volta, Central and Western regions.

The first export of cocoa from the Gold Coast took place in 1885 and by 1908, Ghana export had reached 20,000 metric tons. Ghana attained the Number One status in the production of cocoa in 1911 with 41,000 tons. In the 1920s, production increased to between 165,000 and 213,000 tons. Ghana’s contribution to the world’s total output then was 40%. Between 1976 and 1977, cocoa started experiencing a fall in its production.

Production began to decline between 1976 and 1977 due to the outbreak of pests and diseases like the capsid and swollen shoot viral disease and falling prices until it reached a 63 year low of 158,000mt in 1983/84.

Ghana – 18%
After a long time at the top of cocoa production, today Ghana is at second place. Most of the time, cocoa is cultivated on family farms of less than 10 hectares. The yield is poor on those farms where the trees have aged.
Originally, cocoa was produced in the east of the country. From 1940, production moved to the Brong Ahafo and Ashanti regions. Since the middle of the 1980s, production has been situated in the west of the country. Ghana produces an average of 500 000 tonnes of cocoa beans per year. Cocoa remains an important part of the country’s economy.


MARKETING

From the early years until the late 1930’s the local merchants were the ones controlling the cocoa trade in the Gold Coast. Companies like the U.A.C., Paterson and Zochonis (PZ), G.B. Olivant, UTC, Cadbury and Fry as well as J. Lyons were importing foods into the Gold Coast and purchasing farm products such as coffee, cocoa, kennels, rubber and palm oil for export overseas.

All, however, was not smooth sailing. Difficulties arose as a result of Cadbury and Fry emphasizing on quality to lower prices and also supporting expansion of farms in various ways. This action did not go down well with other local merchant companies as they assumed Cadbury and Fry were monopolizing the industry. In 1937, farmers went on strike and refused to sell their cocoa on the grounds of low price for their produce.

The outcome of these developments resulted in the establishment of the Cocoa Marketing Board (CMB) in 1947 to provide marketing services to farmers. The Produce Buying Agency was given monopoly over the internal marketing of cocoa in the country in 1977. The sector was however liberalized in 1992 as a result of a World Bank policy. This led to the licensing of many companies (LBCs) including Kuapa Kokoo to do the internal marketing of cocoa.
The Cocoa Marketing Company performs the external marketing of cocoa.

PRICING

Ghana’s cocoa pricing has witnessed some changes over the years. Beginning from 1947 when the Cocoa Marketing Board (CMB) was established, together with Cocoa Marketing Company (CMB) to advise the Government as to what price to pay to the farmers every year, taking into consideration the world price and local factors.
At the moment pricing of cocoa is done by a committee known as Producer Price Review Committee (PPRC) which meets quarterly to review the cocoa prices payable to our farmers. This committee comprises of Government, Cocobod, LBCs and farmers representatives.

Divine Chocolate Limited, formerly the Day Chocolate Company, is a manufacturer of Fairtrade chocolate products in the United Kingdom and the United States. In 1997 members of Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union at their 4th Annual General Meeting resolved to set up a chocolate Company in the United Kingdom with “Papa Paa” (best of the best) cocoa beans produced by the members themselves.

In partnership with Twin Trading and supported by the Body Shop, Christian Aid and Comic relief, the then Day Chocolate Company was formed in the United Kingdom in 1998 with Kuapa Kokoo owning a third of its shares.
Its first product, launched in October 1998, was Divine milk chocolate. Since then, variations such as Divine white chocolate, flavoured milk chocolate, dark chocolate and drinking chocolate etc. have been added to the company's list. In the year 2007 the name of the Company was changed to Divine Chocolate Limited.
Divine Chocolate’s trading system is unique even in the sphere of fair trade, in that members of Kuapa Kokoo own the majority stake in the company and share in its profits. Another brand, Dubble, was launched in 2000 in collaboration with Comic Relief.
Divine Chocolate launched a subsidiary in the USA in 2007. Kuapa Kokoo owns a third of the shares in Divine USA.
Divine Chocolate UK was voted Observer Best Ethical Business in 2008 and Best Social Enterprise in 2007. Divine Chocolate celebrated their 10th Anniversary this year.
Members of Kuapa Kokoo are very proud to own shares in Divine Chocolate as it gives them a voice in the global trade of chocolate.
Click here to visit Divine

Source: http://www.kuapakokoo.com/

dinsdag 20 september 2011

‘Beware the chocolate of Chiapas’.


1648 There’s a famous story about a group of passionate chocoholics who turned nasty when someone tried to get between them and their drinking chocolate. The trouble began when a bishop of Chiapas, Mexico, became irritated with the ladies of his congregation, who insisted that they needed to drink hot chocolate during mass because of their weak stomachs. He banned chocolate from the cathedral and threatened to excommunicate anyone who ate or drank during services. Unwilling to do without their mid-mass fix, the ladies began to attend church in the convents instead of the cathedral. Despite being told about rumours of death threats against him, the bishop stood firm. The cathedral emptied altogether and shortly afterwards the bishop was found dead, having drunk a bowl of chocolate laced with poison. To this day, there’s a Mexican proverb that warns: ‘Beware the chocolate of Chiapas’.

The whole affair became a fearful scandal. Eventually, in 1662, Pope Alexander VII put a final solution to the affair when he declared " Liquidum non frangit jejunum." [Liquids (including chocolate) do not break the fast.] It is likely that this decision was based on the fact that chocolate, like so many other herbs, was considered to have medicinal qualities.

Because of its dark, rich flavours and pungent aroma, chocolate was an effective way to mask the bitter taste of poison. Chocolate is behind a litany of crimes of passion, revenge and mercy killings – even Pope Clement XIV was allegedly murdered with a cup of bitter tasting chocolate. The Duchess of Portsmouth was convinced that King Charles II had been poisoned with a ‘dish’ of chocolate at her house in 1685, although he probably died of kidney failure; a spurned mistress of Napoleon is also reported to have added something suspect to his chocolate beverage, hoping to exact vengeance with a deliciously deadly weapon.

"Tlaquetzalli"Perhaps the most fabulous chocolate drink in history was the one enjoyed by Aztec nobility. There appears to have been two main types. The more sacred version involved a massive head of foam, the precise nature of which has been debated for centuries. The secret is a special kind of cocoa bean called "pataxtle" which are buried in the ground for about half a year until it turns a chalky white. The beans then go through an elaborate process that results in foam, akin to beaten egg whites, which is then spooned cold atop a cup of a warm corn drink called "atole". The beans are impossible to obtain outside of Mexico but they can be replaced with an equal amount of white orchid flowers.
There was also a cold brew called "tlaquetzalli" (precious thing), which was heavily laced with chili peppers. The drink seems to have become extinct and there are no recipes, but some of the early European versions of chocolate appear to be closely related.

"Amor de Montezuma Xocolatl" - Emperor's Love Hot ChocolateThe Aztec emperor Montezuma voraciously consumed a chocolate beverage laced with fragrant flowers, chili peppers, and spices. The only ingredient missing was Tequila!
The heat of Chipotle chili powder works as a kind of stimulant to the palate; its heat gives tone but does not interfere with the taste of chocolate. Its heat excites the mouth, while the coffee-flavored tequila brings the chocolate to life, sure to bring Mexico to your heart side on a cold night!

Makes 4 servings
4 cups whole milk
5 whole star anise
2 cloves
1 cinnamon stick (canela)
1 Mexican vanilla bean, split
6-8 oz. Dark chocolate, grated or finely chopped
1 pinch grated nutmeg
1 Beso de sal (a kiss of salt)
1/2 teaspoons Chipotle chili powder
2 Piloncillos (Mexican unrefined sugar, comes in firm brown cone shape) grated, or 1 Cup raw brown sugar
2-4 oz. coffee-flavored tequila

In saucepan, combine milk, star anise, vanilla, cinnamon and cloves. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scalding. Remove vanilla beans and spices, and then scrape seeds from vanilla bean and return to milk mixture. Add chocolate, piloncillo or sugar, a pinch of nutmeg, chipotle chili powder and salt. Whisk constantly until chocolate and sugar are melted. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in tequila. Divide hot chocolate among 4 cups and decorate with star anise.

Movie to watch: "Like Water like Chocolate" written by the Mexican author Laura Esquivel, the title playing on the saying "Como agua para chocolate" a metaphor for love's unstoppable chemistry!

Have you seen the movie, Chocolat? This is like the hot chocolate that was served in the movie.

dinsdag 13 september 2011

CACAO CULTURE IN THE PHILIPPINES. part 9 (the end)


ESTIMATED COST AND REVENUES DERIVED FROM A CACAO PLANTATION.
Estimates of expenses in establishing a cacao farm in the Visayas


and profits after the fifth year. The size of the farm selected is 16 hectares, the amount of land prescribed by Congress of a single public land entry.
The cost of procuring such a tract of land is as yet undetermined and can
not be reckoned in the following tables. The prices of the crop are estimatedat 48 cents per kilo, which is the current price for the best gradesof cacao in the world's markets. The yield per tree is given as 2 catties,or 1.25 kilos, a fair and conservative estimate for a good tree, with littleor no cultivation. The prices for unskilled labor are 25 per cent in advance of the farm hand in the Visayan islands. No" provision is riiade for management or supervision, as the owner will, it is assumed, act asmanager.
Charges to capital account are given for the second, third, and fourth
year, but no current expenses are given, for other crops are to defray operating expenses until the cacao trees begin to bear. No estimate of residence is given. All accounts are in United States currency.

Expendable the first year.
Capital account:
Clearing of average brush and timber land, at $15 per hectare $340.00
Four carabaos, plows, harrows, cultivators, carts, etc 550.00
Breaking and preparing land, at $5 per hectare 80. 00
Opening main drainage canals, at $6 per hectare 96. 00
Tool house and storeroom 200. 00
Purchase and planting 10,000 abacd stools, at 2 cents each 200.00
Seed purchase, rearing and planting 12,000 cacao, at 3 cents each 360.00
Contingent and incidental 174.00
Total $2,000.00

Rainbow Over the Chocolate Hills, Bohol Island, Bohol, Philippines ...

In the tenth year there should be no increase in taxes or fertilizers, and
a slight increase in yield, sufficient to bring the net profits of the estate to the approximate amount of $5,000. This would amount to a dividend of rather more than $312 per hectare, or its equivalent of about $126 per
acre.
These tables further show original capitalization cost of nearly $90 per
acre, and from the ninth year annual operating expenses of rather more
than $60 per acre.
It should be stated, however, that the operating expenses are based upon
a systematic and scientific management of the estate ; while the returns or
income are based upon revenue from trees that are at the disadvantage of
being without culture of any kind, and, while I am of the opinion that the
original cost per acre of the plantation, nor its current operating expenses may be much reduced below the figures given, I feel that there is a reasonable certainty that the crop product may be materially increased beyond the limit of two "catties."
In Camerouns, Dr. Preuss, a close and well-trained observer, gives the
mean annual yield of trees of full-bearing age at 4.4 pounds.
Mr. Rousselot places the yield on the French Congo at the same figure
In the Caroline Islands it reaches 5 pounds and in Surinam, according
to M. Nichols, the average at maturity is 6| pounds. In Mindanao, I
have been told, but do not vouch for the report, of more than ten "catties"
taken in one year from a single tree; and, as there are well-authenticated
instances of record, of single trees having yielded as much as 30 pounds^
I am not prepared to altogether discredit the Mindanao story.
The difference, however, between good returns and enormous profits
arising from cacao growing in the Philippines will be determined by the
amount of knowledge, experience, and energy that the planter is capable
of bringing to bear upon the culture in question.

Source: Cacao Culture in the Philippines  
Published: 1902
Language: English
Origin: gutenberg.org

CACAO CULTURE IN THE PHILIPPINES. part 8


MANURING.
There are few cultivated crops that make less drain upon soil fertility
than cacao, and few drafts upon the land are so easily and inexpensively
returned. From an examination made of detailed analyses by many authors
and covering many regions, it may be broadly stated that an average
crop of cacao in the most-favored districts is about 9 piculs per hectare,
and that of the three all-important elements of nitrogen, phosphoric acid,
and potash, a total of slightly more than 4.2 kilograms is removed in each
picul of cured seeds harvested. These 37 kilos of plant food that are annually
taken from each hectare may be roughly subdivided as follows:
18 kilos of nitrogen,
10 kilos of potash,
9 kilos of phosphoric acid.
On this basis, after the plantation is in full bearing, we would have to
make good with standard fertilizers each year for each hectare about '220
kilos of nitrate of soda, or, if the plantation was shaded with leguminous
trees, only one-half that amount, or 110 kilos. Of potash salts, say the
sulphate, only one-half that amount, or 55 kilos, if the plantation was unshaded.
If, however, it was shaded, as the leguminous trees are all heavy
feeders of potash, we would have to double the amount and use 110 kilos.
In any case, as fixed nitrogen always represents a cost quite double that
of potash, from an economical standpoint the planter is still the gainer
who supplies potash to the shade trees. There still remains phosphoric
acid, which, in the form of the best superphosphate of lime, would require
55 kilos for unshaded orchards, and about 70 if dap-dap, Pionciana,
or any leguminous tree was grown in the orchard. These three ingredients
may be thoroughly incoriwrated and used as a top dressing and
lightly harrowed in about each tree.
If the commercial nitrates can not be readily obtained, then recourse
must be had to the sparing use of farm manures. Until the bearing age
these may be used freely, but after that with caution and discrimination.
Although I have seen trees here that have been bearing continuously for
twenty-two years, I have been unable to find so much as one that to the
knowledge of the oldest resident has ever been fertilized in any way, yet,
notwithstanding our lack of knowledge of local conditions, it seems perfectly safe to predicate that liberal manuring with stable manure or
highly ammoniated fertilizers would insure a rank, succulent growth
that is always prejudicial to the best and heaviest fruit production.



In this I am opposed to Professor Hart,who seems to think that stable manures are those only that may be used with a free hand.
We have many safe ways of applying nitrogen through the medium of
various catch crops of pulse or beans, with the certainty that we can never
overload the soil with more than the adjacent tree roots can take up and
thoroughly assimilate. When the time comes that the orchard so shades
the ground that crops can no longer be grown between the rows, then, in
preference to stable manures I would recommend cotton-seed cake or
"poonac",the latter being always obtainable in this Archipelago.

While the most desirable form in which potash can be applied is in the
form of the sulphate, excellent results have been had with the use of
Kainit or Stassfurth salts, and as a still more available substitute, wood
ashes is suggested. When forest lands are near, the underbrush may be
cut and burned in a clearing or wherever it may be done without detriment
to the standing timber, and the ashes scattered in the orchard before
they have been leached by rains. The remaining essential of phosphoric
acid in the form of superphosphates will for some years to come necessarily
be the subject of direct importation. In the cheap form of phosphate
slag it is reported to have been used with great success in both Grenada
and British Guiana, and would be well worthy of trial here.
Lands very rich in humus, as some of our forest valleys are, undoubtedly
carry ample nitrogenous elements of fertility to maintain the trees
at a high standard of growth for many years, but provision is indispensable
for a regular supply of potash and phosphoric acid as soon as the
trees come into heavy bearing. It is to them and not to the nitrogen that
we look for the formation of strong, stocky, well-ripened wood capable
of fruit bearing and for fruit that shall be sound, highly flavored, and
well matured.
The bearing life of such a tree will surely be healthfully prolonged for
many years beyond one constantly driven with highly stimulating foods,
and in the end amply repay the grower for the vigilance, toil, and original
expenditure of money necessary to maintaining a well-grown and wellappointed cacao plantation.

SUPPLEMENTAL NOTES.
New Varieties.—Cacao is exclusively grown from seed, and it is only by
careful selection of the most valuable trees that the planter can hope to
make the most profitable renewals or additions to his plantations. It is
by this means that many excellent sorts are now in cultivation in different
regions that have continued to vary from the three original, common
forms of Theohroma cacao, until now it is a matter of some difiiculty to
differentiate them.
Residence.—The conditions for living in the Philippines offer peculiar,
it may be said unexampled, advantages to the planter of cacao. The climate
as a whole is remarkably salubrious, and sites are to be found nearly
everywhere for the estate buildings, sufficiently elevated to obviate the
necessity of living near stagnant waters.
Malarial fevers are relatively few, predacious animals unknown, and
insects and reptiles prejudicial to human life or health extraordinarily
few in number. In contrast to this we need only call attention to the entire Caribbean coast of South America, where the climate and soil conditions are such that the cacao comes to a superlative degree of perfection, and yet the limits of its further extension have probably been reached by the insuperable barrier of a climate so insalubrious that the Caucasian's life is one endless conflict with disease, and when not engaged in active combat with some form of malarial poisoning his energies are concentrated upon battle with the various insect or animal pests that make life a burden in such regions.

Nonresidence upon a cacao plantation is an equivalent term for ultimate
failure. Every operation demands the exercise of the obervant eye
and the directing hand of a master, but there is no field of horticultural
effort that offers more assured reward, or that will more richly repay
close study and the application of methods wrought out as the sequence
of those studies.



Source: S.LYON,IN CHARGE OF SEED AND PLANT INTRODUCTION. OF PUBLIC PRINTING 1902.WILLIAM S. LYON

zondag 11 september 2011

Danta Chocolate Guatemala bis


New not only as couverture Danta http://cocoaskiss.blogspot.com/2011/09/why-guatemala-why-danta.html but also as bars in the shop and this for Belgium.

Solid chocolate bars with Mayan glyph and stone decorations.  Approximate net weight:  50 grams. 


Finca Las Acacias 70%  pure cacao
This beautiful property located in the edges of Escuintla and Suchitepéquez, produces one of the most unusual and delicious Guatemala cocoas. A mix of cocoas Creoles and hybrids produce intense, fruity and very particular tastes.

In the words of a chocolate expert, "If there is something that approximates to perfect chocolate, Danta Acacias is him."

With one production exceeding the 50 tonnes of cocoa from world-class Las Acacias is one of the biggest producers in the country.
Finca Las Ujuxtes 70% pure cacao
The Ujuxtes, located in San Antonio Suchitepequez, cannot be regarded as one of the most beautiful of Guatemala. With spectacular views of the volcanoes, Atitlan, and its rich volcanic soil, the Ujuxtes produces an exceptional cocoa, with intense chocolate flavors and aromas, with notes of tobacco and olives.

All varieties of chocolate we produce of the finca Los Ujuxtes, are characterized by their intensity, great aroma and beautiful appearance. A worthy representative of the historic Guatemalan cacao.

Forget about the other Chuao's!
This is my favorite bar from all the Chuao's.
FLAVOR PROFILE: Red & Black: strawberries, blueberries, currants, plums; licorice & molasses;

And there is the white with cacao nibs and vanilla, quitte special and a treat for everyone.

€ 4.00 each and only € 5.00 for the magnificent Chuao
sharp & intense with pervasive, reverberating finish.

donderdag 8 september 2011

Why Guatemala? Why Danta?

  • Guatemala produces only  1,000 tons of cacao annually, while Ecuador produces over 100,000, and Ivory Coast, 1.2 million.
  • It has been historically proven that Guatemala is one of the original areas of chocolate consumption.
  • In Guatemala, much more chocolate is drunk rather than eaten..
  • Even though cacao’s genetic origins are in the American continent, today the world’s largest cacao producers are located in western Africa and the Pacific Rim.

My relationship with Danta Chocolate Guatemala started when I saw on YouTube a film of a man making artisanal cocoa butter with artisanal equipment.

Later I found out Cheebs (we mailed a few times) was the man behind Danta Chocolate Guatemala and the next step was asking him about his selfmade chocolate made from a selfmade man.

Take a quick look there kitchen and shop in Guatemala City. They are the only bean-to-bonbon company in Guatemala and proudly sell only products made with there own chocolate. Guatemala's storied cacao and ingredients from around the world combine in tiny works of art. Of course there bars are exceptional as well, and they have something for every taste: from a very potent 75% cacao to a sweet and surprising white chocolate with nibs.

So from thise one thing came the other surprice! He would come to Europe (the first visit 2010 he did not achieve to stop in Belgium) but this year he ask me to follow a short workshop, how about this. I ask him to bring some chocolate where we could work with and so we did this September for tree days a interaction between Guatemala and Belgium.

Danta Chocolate Guatemala is wonderfull, the flavours are just so intens and only made in small microbatch recipies.
They are the first single-estate artisan chocolatier of there country, they select only the finest and most carefully processed Mesoamerican cacao.
The ingredients are 100% natural and where possible, of local Origin. Many of these are organic and Fair trade in an effort to contribute to social and enviromental improvement in the region.

Danta Chocolate is born in mid-2008 as a result of the passion its founder, Carlos Eichenberger, has for all things chocolate.  A desire to learn about the methodology and technique of chocolate production  turn into an enthusiastic journey of learning and creation.



Carlos came to Kortrijk and with him his extraordinary couverture, we enjoyed us with making pastry and bonbons and at the end, from his four kilogram of chocolate there is nothing left, except the gateaux and the bonbons.
He was generous and for the shop he shared me some bars for  the happy few to taste, so if you come over be prepared.

Thanks for sharing your chocolate Carlos thanks for beeing here in Kortrijk with us.












donderdag 1 september 2011

Fresh ADI CHOCOLATE FIJI

Finally I could start with the personalised "Adi Chocolate Fiji" transfer. I ask Tom if I could use his wonderfull Adi logo and he agreed with the suggestion I did.
Great to hear that you will make Adi Chocolate there.
The logo,  if it possible, the word "Adi" need to be in between the legs.
Adi(pronounce "Andy") is a honorific title for Fijian Queen.
The logo is the worrier of the South Pacific and I add koko knife and  
traditional Fijian war club,(Fiji used to be
known as a cannibalism islands) The way this man stand is based on the 
traditional "Meke" dance (attached) fighting form just like
we are ready to harvest koko.

Regards,

Tom


So I realised a intense dark ganache from the Fijian Trinitario of 72% is blended about 25% with Forastero.
The result is magnificent! The sharpness of the cocoa is so is very pure and there is a small hint of roasting on the tip of your tong when the bonbon is melting sensual in your mouth. Creamy and with the use of invertsugar so generous tasting.





I do have to contact Tom and ordering him more different couvertures soon...
Geert